The Black Mamba is still the most complete offensive player in the league but his inability to coexist with Dwight Howard and the L.A. Lakers non-existence on the list of the most elite teams in the West has virtually removed his name from all thoughts of MVP talk. Kobe Bryant’s “playoff guarantee” may have been more of a wish with a slight chance of being a reality, Kobe’s guarantee should not discredit the fact that he has made a valiant effort to motivate a struggling Lakers team. All season Bryant has carried the offensive load (maybe a bit too much) but he has played through injury and came through in the closing minutes of close games to win. The Lakers are holding on to dear life with the 8th seed in the western conference playoffs and the last time I checked, Kobe was second in the league in scoring.
5. Chris Paul:
Chris Paul progressively lost a lot of MVP stock value, not due to a decline in performance but more so due to his inability to stay healthy. Earlier in the season I predicted Chris Paul to be the 2012-2013 MVP, he was playing on another level while leading the Clippers to an impressive 17-game win streak but eventually the significant minutes played would take a toll on the veteran guards frame and sideline him during the peak of the L.A. Clippers success. At the end of the day Chis Paul is still the best point guard in the NBA this year and his 16+ points and 9+ assists per game are the primary reason the Clippers will make it past the first round of this years playoffs.
4. Stephen Curry:
Arguably the best shooter in the NBA, Stephen Curry has been one of the most consistent shooters in the league and he gave Kyrie Irving a run for the money this year in the opening rounds of the NBA All-star weekend 3-point contest. Curry also added his name to a short list of NBA greats to score 50 or more points against the Knicks at home in Madison Square Garden. Curry is still a young player who has to continue to develop his court leadership but the kid has proven himself to be among the elite scorers in the league and he should have been an All-Star this year without a doubt. Curry could be as good a shooter as the great Reggie Miller and looking forward I’m willing to guarantee that he will make the All-star West team in the 2013-2014 season.